Satoyama’s Upcoming Danpatsushiki

Satoyama / Sanoyama and Josh at Natsu 2019
Satoyama meets Tachiai, likes the t-shirt

Small man sumo is very much in vogue at the moment, with rikishi like Enho and Terutsuyoshi capturing the imagination of fans. But sumo has a rich history of smaller rikishi and one of the more notable names of recent times, Satoyama, recently retired at the end of the Kyushu basho in November. He then became Sanoyama oyakata, having borrowed his kabu from Chiyootori. He spent much of his sekitori career in juryo – where I personally especially enjoyed his matches with Asahisho (even if he didn’t always come out on top).

He is one of two new oyakata in the Onoe stable, a stable I recently had the chance to visit for morning keiko – an exercise which I will detail further in a future post on the site.

Visitors to recent basho since Satoyama’s retirement have seen the friendly former rikishi staffing the NSK’s official merch booth at Kokugikan and the other venues. Usually, he is one of three or four oyakata working the booth and interacting with fans, along with his stablemate and fellow new coach Hidenoyama, the former Tenkaiho.

I said hello to Satoyama/Sanoyama during the recent Natsu basho, and told him I had seen keiko recently at his stable (he was not present that day), and that it was a cool experience. He inquired about my Tachiai t-shirt, and when I told him it was an English sumo website, he handed me a flier in the hope that I would share some news with you all. Here is that flier:

Satoyama Danpatsushiki Flier
Satoyama’s Danpatsushiki takes place on September 28

Satoyama/Sanoyama has been spending most of his time during the basho interacting with fans and working hard to advertise his forthcoming danpatsushiki, where his hair will be cut and his retirement process will be complete.

As a former top division rikishi, this event will take place at Kokugikan on September 28. The day will consist of Makuuchi and Juryo matches as well as, of course, the ceremonial cutting of Satoyama’s top-knot.

If you buy tickets direct from the NSK, the ticket prices are as follows:

  • ¥2000 for Arena C seats
  • ¥4000 for Arena B seats
  • ¥8000 for Arena A seats
  • ¥36000 for Masu (box) C seats
  • ¥42000 for Masu (box) B seats
  • ¥46000 for Masu (box) A seats

Bear in mind of course that the boxes seat four people (and comfortably seat two people).

In addition to Satoyama’s sake sponsor, the flier also includes an outline of Amami Island in the Oshima district of Kagoshima prefecture, from where Satoyama hails. I wasn’t familiar with it before discovering the island through this flier, but it does look like a very lovely place. Having recently visited Okinawa for the first time, I’m intrigued that there’s quite a bit of content on youtube (such as this video) playing Amami up as an alternative, desirable Japanese island destination.

Our friends over at buysumotickets.com are currently selling tickets for this event. Tickets will come with a markup over the face value prices, but I have found this to be an acceptable price to pay in exchange for the ease of securing good tickets. Additionally, the event has an official website at satoyama.basho-sumo.jp, where an order form has been set up in Japanese (along with additional event details).

If you have plans to attend the Aki basho and will be extending your stay in Japan (or are a local), this event could be a good opportunity to not only see sumo but enjoy a unique milestone in the career of a former popular sekitori!

19 thoughts on “Satoyama’s Upcoming Danpatsushiki

    • Hey we visited Amami Island for the first time in March after the Osaka basho. Easy to get to on a budget airline and a really lovely place for wildlife and dramatic coast. We noticed at the south/west end of the island, which is the most rural there were small towns with prominent open-air Dohyos surrounded by coloured polls with East/North/West characters on them and covered by a small roof. Not seen this elsewhere. And they have produced so many sekitori – Meisei and Daiamami as well – not bad for a population of only 73000!!

  1. Ikioi’s betrothed Higa Mamiko retained her one stroke lead on the field after two days of play in the Women’s US Open Championship. She struggled, playing two over par and dropping into second place, in early play with winds high, but after a storm blew through and the winds calmed, she racked up birdies and regained the lead, consistently making long, difficult putts.

  2. Ikioi’s betrothed Higa Mamiko performed in round 3 of the US Women’s Open golf championship much as she did on day 2: lots of bogies, lots of birdies, all adding up to an even par round both days. Unlike day 2, her third round left her one stroke behind co-leaders Celine Boutier of France and Liu Yu of China. Concidentally, Boutier and Liu are BFFs after having been teammates on the Duke University golf team. Higa-san is tied with Americans Jaye Marie Green and Lexi Thompson. Of the top five players, only Lexi Thompson is experienced in being in the mix on the final day of a major. Higa was consistently inconsistent in just about all facets of her game today, but remains well-positioned to challenge for the championship, if she can recapture some of her opening round magic.

    • Like virtually the entire field, Ikioi’s betrothed Higa Mamiko played nervous golf in the final round of the US Women’s Open golf championship, scoring +3 for the round, -3 for the tournament, which left her in a fifth place tie. She’ll pick up a very nice paycheck for her week. Korea’s Lee Jeong-Eun played brilliantly for most of the day and weathered two late bogies to gain a two-stroke victory and $1 million in prize money.

        • Higa-san took home US$178,633, which would make me like golf more, too! Her experience in the US Women’s Open is remarkably similar to how she performed in last year’s British Open. Terrific first round, good but not great second and third rounds, struggles in the final round. The one difference is that Higa-san in yesterday’s final round was in free-fall early, but gained control on the back nine and performed much more steadily, remaining on the fringes of contention. Perhaps this will serve as a confidence-gaining springboard for her performance in future majors.

          By the way, the announcers at least twice showed a photo of her together with Ikioi and mentioned Ikioi’s (now-interrupted) long string of top division bouts, while mangling the pronunciation of Ikioi’s name (and implying that Ikioi was his given this name at birth).

  3. Thank you for the heads up, we are actually missing the september basho and it might give us a chance to actually witness some sumo !

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